Adventures in Letter Writing No. 44: Is it Post O’Clock?

(9.10am) Maybe I have controversial genes, only if I was a postie I would just tell people “I’m a postman”, man being pronounced “mun”. Like “Chairmun” if ever I was a Chairman. Perhaps not controversial, more too lazy to add another syllable. Post”wo”man. Anyway the reason for that random thought was I was just sitting here thinking about whether our postman (it is a man) had anything exciting to bring me today and that tangible feeling of expectation waiting for him to arrive. And where was he? I mean literally, like which road is he in, not angrily. Some days I’m too distracted by other stuff and then suddenly hear the push of paper against letterbox bristles and slightly too tight springs of letterbox flap (most letters remain unscathed thankfully) and a thud on the doormat which causes me to dash to the front door. It’s become a bit Pavlov’s dog if I’m honest.

But does the average postie know what responsibility they carry about their person? The joy when there’s proper handwritten envelopes and pretty stamps (not just a franked affair or print out, although saying that a Buckingham Palace frank is quite exciting). Or the disappointment when all it is is a statement from my energy supplier usually demanding more money or worse than that when nothing comes at all which makes me think energy suppliers are missing a trick there by not writing handwritten letters to their customers. The price hike would be worth it for that. I might have to suggest it. “A handwritten letter from NPower is better than no letter at all” could be their advertising campaign. I missed my calling as a marketing guru, clearly.

I love it when I leave the house for the day before the post is due to arrive and at some point usually while driving home from wherever remember he might have been. What unexpected letter might be waiting for me. And Sundays and Bank Holidays. Probably the only time in our lives now where something is dictated by proper days of rest. I’m so old I remember when shops were shut on a Sunday! In our instant world it can be a frustration but I don’t ever want post on a Sunday. Everyone needs a day off. It’s funny in a good way that we have to wait a whole extra day in our little cycles of hope or excitement or disappointment. I like how some days something amazing comes, some days nothing. There’s no rhyme or reason but always a hope.

Perhaps I have given this too much thought. Perhaps I need to get out more but it wasn’t just me I was thinking about. I was thinking nationwide, no, worldwide and all those individual unique pieces of post handwritten from one person to another criss-crossing the globe over and eventually being placed in a pigeon-hole or falling through someone’s door. That’s romantic isn’t it? The saddest thought is that some people won’t have ever received a handwritten letter their whole life. I think that’s almost up there with never having seen the sea.

So although I don’t like bossy as a rule, we need to get some letters written. People might be waiting and there’s no time to waste!


(9.30am) PS Look what arrived just now! It honestly does make a real difference to your day. (Thanks lovely Mike!)

5 thoughts on “Adventures in Letter Writing No. 44: Is it Post O’Clock?

  1. Rod Macleod says:

    In rural areas postmun can be so much more too. The only visitor lonely folk see in the day. Ours has dangled from the levitating leg of a marquee in a gale, abandoned his van and tramped through snow to deliver our mail, and brings his daughters to mini music festivals in the garden. At my grandparent’s home in Argyll, the postie stopped everyday for a cup of tea in the kitchen. In Skye they carried everything from eggs to prescriptions, and one took a rope at my mother’s funeral. Friends, social workers, and turners-of-blind-eyes at surcharges, they reach the spots emails can’t.

    1. D1nah_ says:

      That feels like the making of a book. Each of those stories are a chapter in themselves. Thank you so much for sharing. Dinah (Have to ask though, did your grandparent’s mind?)

  2. Rod Macleod says:

    They didn’t mind a bit – but weren’t really involved. The cook sounded an old motor horn (the sort with a rubber bulb), which brought in the gardener, and the three of them would take a break and share the gossip. It was a different world back then!

    1. D1nah_ says:

      Sounds wonderful really. My Dad restored a 1927 Morris Oxford Saloon Landaulet for much of my childhood so the old motor horn I can hear as plain as day! Parp parp!

      1. Rod Macleod says:

        Snap! Mine had a 1928 Austin 12 Laundaulet (but it had a klaxon, and I can’t write a klaxon noise…something like, ‘Wha-wahwah’!).

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